How to Air Out Painting Fumes

Paint fumes are not only unhealthy to you and other adults, but also to small children.
Work in a well-ventilated area whenever you begin a painting project.Work in a well-ventilated area whenever you begin a painting project.
Even paints that contain low volatile organic compounds give off fumes, which irritate your lungs and eyes. Paint fumes particularly affect individuals with asthma and chronic respiratory conditions. For this reason, it is important to air out your home or business before, during and after a painting project. Airing the room or area out also speeds up the paint drying process.

Step 1

Open all windows and doors in the room or area you are painting or have been painting so the paint fumes can escape the area.

Step 2

Place a box fan in one of the windows with the fan's blades and front controls facing the window’s screen. This allows the fumes to be drawn into the fan and escape outdoors.

Step 3

Place another box fan in a doorway that leads to the outside of your home or business. Also aim this fan so its blades and controls are facing outdoors.

Step 4

Leave the fans running and the windows/doors open for approximately 48 hours after painting to air out the room or area.

Step 5

Close any open containers of paint immediately after finishing your painting project. Wash any brushes and rollers in cold water and then place the items in an outdoor location to keep any lingering fumes from emitting off of the items’ material. Cold water will keep the brushes' and rollers' material from shrinking.

Things You Will Need

  • Box fans
  • Dehumidifier (optional)


  • Use a dehumidifier, if available, to help speed up the paint drying process and reduce the amount of moisture in the air in the room or area you just painted.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.